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Diversity Task Force

In June 2020, a task force was assembled by Chief Diversity Officer, Daryll Dykes, PhD, MD, JD, to accomplish "the herculean task to make actionable recommendations to move Upstate in a bold new direction toward greater diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging."  

The task force was comprised of the following key stakeholders and thought leaders representing various campus constituencies and related issues.  

Task Force Members:
Chair: Daryll Dykes, PhD, MD, JD
Greg Threatte         Terry Culbertson  
Rachel Hopkins       Amy Brown Carusso
Susan Furtney       Jada McMahon (Medical Student)
Sri Narsipur       Guillermo Polanco (Medical Student)
Nakeia Chambers       Sarah Zainelabdin (Medical Student)
David Amberg       Dale Avers
Janelle Gage       Matt Glidden
Lauren Germain       Mattie Cerrio
Carl Thomas       Sean Patterson


The Task Force published potential action items in the following report::

2020 Diversity Task Force Report

Phase 2: Implementation and Oversight Tiger Teams

In a letter to campus on Aug. 31, 2020, we invited members of the Upstate Community to submit applications to volunteer to serve on these Implementation and Oversight Tiger Teams to further evaluate, prioritize, develop, and coordinate the action items proposed in the Task Force report. Consistent with other work on campus, we use the term “tiger team” to refer to a specialized, cross-functional team brought together to solve or investigate a specific problem or critical issue.

Over 70 individuals from every part of our institution came forward to take on this important responsibility of serving on these special teams. We know their work will be transformative and Upstate will be a better place because of their commitment and dedication to making it so. All individuals expressed a deep passion for creating a culture of BELONGING for all who invest so much in Upstate’s noble mission. These teams are:


Policy, Bias Reporting and Mitigation

Co-chairs: David Amberg and Sipho Mbuqe

Lynn Cleary, Maureen Ryan, Holly Vanderhoff, Mattie Cerio, Alexis Yackel, Sherod Harris, Cassandra Bradford, Llamara Padro-Milano, Cristina Pope, Joan Chou, Vickie Cottrell, Christa Bennett, Meenakshi Malhotra, Anne Dotzler, Lauren Germain, Mark Schmitt, Sharon Huard, Danielle Katz-consultant, Malika Carter-consultant


Recruitment & Retention

Co-chairs: Jennifer Welch and Nancy Page

Adjuah Williams, Bryant Tyler, Caitlin McConnell, Cameron Bosinski, Carl Thomas, Charles McChesney, Emily Kulkus, Jackie Peak, Jennifer Potter, Karen Thrasher, Katherine Beissner, Krystal Ripa, Megan Brandt, Rebecca Milczarski, Rochelle Lawler, Sherria Sparks, Stacy Lovelace, Steven Contreras, Sue Murphy, Yvonne Monti


Patient, Community, and Alumni Services

Co-chairs: Janell Gage and Nakeia Chambers

Paula Trief, Rev. Terry Culbertson, Emma Blystone, Lisa Beneway, Trina Skeele, Tracy Davis, Catherine Narcavage-Bradley, Asalim Thabet, Jivan Lamichhane, Shannon Finnerty, Sunny Aslam, Sara Williams, Shannon Banes, Shantel Henry, Simone Seward, Rachel Ryan


Diversity Organization, Branding and Messaging

Co-chairs: Sean Patterson and Daryll Dykes

Yolanda Beckon, Larhonda Caver, Julie White, Deidre Keefe, Terrence Howell, Nicole Harf, Julian Chaplin, Daniel Waterman, Sarahemla Barth, Khadijah Osbourne, Angela Wratney, Pamela Brown, Mary Meier, David VanWie - consultant, Debbie Rexine - consultant


Education and Training

Co-chairs: Rachel Hopkins and Rebecca Greenblatt

Pearlene Augustin, Ann Botash, Billy Brill, Darren Carboni, Amy Caruso-Brown, Rebecca Garden, Lauren Germain, Erin Graham, Steven Harris, Chaeyeon Kim, Carol Anne Kozik, Elizabeth Nelsen, Oghale Obaro-Best, Carol Recker-Hughes, Deanna Walborn, Angelique Woods, Diane Mantooth, Mario Mejia, Nayla Khoury, Holly McCurdy